After Effects Apprentice 02: Basic Animation

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer
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After Effects Apprentice 02: Basic Animation
Video duration: 0s 2h 19m Beginner Updated Nov 09, 2012


Trish Meyer leads beginners through a gentle introduction to Adobe After Effects: from creating a new project and importing sources, through arranging and animating layers, applying effects, and creating variations, to rendering the final movie. However, this is no paint-by-numbers exercise. Trish demonstrates how she makes creative decisions and saves time through the use of keyboard shortcuts and smart working practices. Additional movies explain further details about how After Effects works under the hood. Her measured pace helps even those completely new to After Effects understand the program so that they can use it effectively on their own projects. Exercise files are included with the course.

The After Effects Apprentice videos on were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the Online Training Library®.

Topics include:
  • Starting a project from scratch
  • Building a composition
  • Arranging and transforming layers interactively and numerically
  • Animating parameters including motion paths
  • Applying and re-using effects
  • Creating variations and rendering the final movie
  • Importing layered Photoshop files
  • Understanding alpha channels
  • Avoiding common mistakes
After Effects


Hi, I am Trish Meyer of Chrish Design, and welcome to lesson 1 in the After Effects Apprentice series. In this basic animation lesson, you'll learn how to create a simple project from scratch. I'll show you how to create a composition, import sources, and then animate their position, scale, rotation, and opacity. And to add a little jazz, we'll also apply a few effects. When we finish the project, we'll render the animation as a QuickTime movie. Then I'll encourage you to create variations in the section we call idea corner. In the second half of this lesson, I'll go into more detail on some of the features I introduced earlier, such as creating motion paths, arranging layers, importing layered files, and working with alpha channels. I have designed this lesson as a gentle introduction to animating in After Effects for someone who is completely new to the program. My goal is to get you started on the right path from day 1. So in addition to good working practices, I'll also cover mistakes that beginners, and sometimes even advanced users, tend to make. By the way, I'll be using version CS5, but virtually all of these features have existed for some time.

As I go along, I point out anything that's new in CS5, as well as differences from CS4. So let's get started by first looking at the animation you're going to create.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects Apprentice 02: Basic Animation .

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Q: This course was updated on 11/09/2012. What changed?
A: We added new movies on using the exercise files that come with this course, and working with the Global Performance Cache in After Effects CS6. We have also added exercise files designed for After Effects CS6.
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